University of Richmond Headline News Experts

Headline News Experts

Experts Available for Interview

The University of Richmond has faculty experts available to comment on today’s headline news. Contact the Media Relations team to arrange an interview with the academics below.

Plus, check out our pop culture guide for Taylor Swift-related experts and our election guide for presidential election analysis.

Jack Singal

Astronomy News

Physics professor Jack Singal, an astrophysicist who has worked at NASA, is available to discuss astronomy news, including new discoveries, space exploration, and events such as eclipses.

His current research project will create a map of radio emission over nearly the entire sky. The radio sky brightness map is anticipated to be a transformative tool for investigating galactic and extragalactic phenomena.

“There’s much more to the light in the universe than our eyes can see,” he said. “Almost the only way we really know anything about what is going on beyond Earth is by measuring and interpreting the light that comes to us. In this case it is radio light.”

More about Jack Singal

Kristine Nolin

Cinco De Mayo 

University of Richmond chemistry professor Kristine Nolin has a passion and expertise for food science. She can discuss the science behind spicy foods you may enjoy during Cinco de Mayo, including the Scoville scale, which measures a food’s heat.

“The Scoville scale measures the pungency of food, its heat. The scale is a measurement of the capsaicinoids, the organic compound that triggers the biochemical process that we feel as pungency.”

She can also explain why your eyes and nose run when eating spicy foods.

“The reason is very cool! The capsaicinoids bind to the receptor that detects and regulates body temperature. This receptor is also involved in pain sensation.”

More about Kristine Nolin

Corinna Lain

Capital Punishment 

Law professor Corinna Lain is a leading scholar on the death penalty and is writing a book on lethal injection. She is available to discuss changing policies on lethal injection in the U.S. and ongoing cases in the news. Lain can discuss lethal injection drugs and protocols, the federal death penalty related to well-documented problems with race, and public perception of capital punishment.

“The number of states that don’t have the death penalty could easily rise to 40, but a nationwide ban would need action from the U.S. Supreme Court. That is unlikely to happen as recent actions show the high court is not going to get in the way of states carrying out executions.”

More about Corinna Lain
Carl Tobias

Judicial Selection 

Law professor Carl W. Tobias is an expert on judicial nominations, with an emphasis on federal judicial selection. A prolific writer and scholar, Tobias is available to provide insights on the appointment of federal judges across the country.

“One of President Biden’s greatest domestic successes has been to revitalize and improve smooth, fair processes to nominate and confirm well-qualified, mainstream judicial candidates who are diverse in terms of ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, ideology, and experience.”

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Tom Shields

K-12 Challenges 

Tom Shields, a leadership studies and education professor, is an expert on K-12 schools, segregation and housing, rezoning, and demographic changes, including why the census matters.

“The challenges in K-12 schools range from a post-pandemic world with curriculum and social-emotional needs, to staffing shortages, to the diversity that's happening, or in some cases not happening, within our schools. Economic and racial differences as well as the political divides all create challenges for administrators, teachers, students, and families to overcome.” 

More about Tom Shields